News

Jun 27, 2022 SCOTUS Overturns Roe: WSMA...Primed to Protect Patients

SCOTUS Overturns Roe: WSMA and Washington State Law Primed to Protect Patients ...

Jun 22, 2022 Health Advisory: COVID-19 vaccine now available for children as young as 6 months

Read the TPCHD Health Advisory for more information. ...

Jun 15, 2022 Public Health Update for Providers

Every year, TPCHD sends an update on public health news and hot topics for providers....

Jun 3, 2022 WSMA Affirms Gun Violence is a Public Health Crisis and Calls for Action

June 3, 2022 WSMA Affirms Gun Violence is a Public Health Crisis and Calls for Action SEATTLE (June 3, 2022) After a tragic week of lives lost to gun violence, the Washington State Medical Association again affirms that gun violence is a public health crisis affecting our children, communities, families, friends, and patients. We urge lawmakers to act....

Jun 2, 2022 OIC Releases Annaul Health Plan Prior Authorization Data

Data highlights questionable value of preapproval process  The Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner recently released its annual Health Plan Prior-Authorization Data report, pursuant to WSMA’s successful advocacy in passing Senate Bill 6404 during the 2020 legislative session. The OIC's 2021 report found that there were numerous codes that were approved 100% of the time. In fact, of the 469 distinct codes reported by carriers, 352, or 75% of the codes, were approved 100% of the time. Widely used codes for colonoscopies and psychotherapy were approved 99% of the time. All of which begs the question of what value prior authorization provides in those contexts....

May 24, 2022 Moneypox virus non-endemic countries

Monkeypox Virus Infection in the US and Other Non-endemic Countries Read TPCHD Health Advisory  Presumptive case of monkeypox virus being investigated in King County ...

May 24, 2022 COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid treatment

Providers have reported COVID-19 rebound-recurring symptoms or a new positive test after a negative test-2-8 days after initial recovery. Read TPCHD Health Advisory for more information...

Apr 13, 2022 Balance Billing - No Surprises Act

House Bill 1688 was adopted to align the state's Balance Billing Protection Act with the federal No Suprises Act during the 2022 legislative session. While rulemaking will commence in the near future physicians and health care professionals and others should be aware of their obligations under the law.  Useful links:  OIC Technical Assistance Advisory  Memo to BBPA Arbitrators and Arbitration Entities AMA Federal No Surprises Act  CMS FAQ No Surprises Rules   ...

Apr 5, 2022 Seeking medical equipment to help Ukrainian patients in need

We received a member request to ask our membership to donate equipment or monetarily to help patients directly in Ukraine if able. The effort is being coordinated by David Fleischmann, MD UNC Chapel Hill and Andrzej Grzybowski, MD University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn Poland. Dr. Grzybowski will transport the donated equipment to the Polish/Ukrainian border. These brave doctors in Poland are helping Ukrainian doctors virtually on the front lines treat serious injuries like the ones in this news story and they've established a pathway to receive money and materials between the countries. For full details on how you can help click here: https://conta.cc/38zXYUt    ...

Mar 17, 2022 COVID'S Silver Lining

The billions of dollars invested in covid vaccines and covid-19 research so far are expected to yield medical and scientific dividends for decades, helping doctors battle influenza, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and far more diseases. "This is just the start," said Dr. Judith James, vice president of clinical affairs for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. "We won't see these dividends in their full glory for years."  Read attached pdf for full article. ...

Feb 28, 2022 Indoor Mask Mandate Lifted March 12

“We’ve continued to monitor data from our state Department of Health, and have determined we are able to adjust the timing of our statewide mask requirement. While this represents another step forward for Washingtonians, we must still be mindful that many within our communities remain vulnerable. Many businesses and families will continue choosing to wear masks, because we’ve learned how effective they are at keeping one another safe. As we transition to this next phase, we will continue to move forward together carefully and cautiously.” ...

Feb 24, 2022 Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen will remove health order to align with state mask requirements

Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, Director of Health for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, will rescind his health order so masks will no longer be required in most indoor public settings in Pierce County beginning March 21. This aligns with state guidance announced Thursday.  Our cases, case rates, and hospitalizations are falling, although they are still high. We will continue to monitor local data and be prepared to adjust as needed as we learn to live with COVID-19. We are glad that projections cited by the Governor anticipate that by March 21 we will reach the levels that public health officials feel are appropriate....

Feb 14, 2022 Check out RxVax

Your patients trust you. Be ready to help them. We're partnering with TPCHD on a prescription to get more people vaccinnated against COVID-19.  The tools and support you need ot inspire your patients to get COVID-19 vaccine are here! Easy access. Download patient handouts.      ...

Jan 20, 2022 State of Emergency in the ER

Today WSMA and the Washington Chapter - American College of Emergency Physicians that asks the public to reserve emergency room visits for serious or life-threatening conditions. Right now emergency rooms are in their own state of emergency and they need your help: Only come to the ER if you have a very serious or life-threatening condition. Please don't use the ER for COVID tests, vaccines, or mild symptoms....

Jan 13, 2022 Inslee issues emergency order on non-urgent health care services

Gov. Jay Inslee today issued an emergency order to temporarily restrict non-urgent health care services, procedures and surgeries that are performed in hospitals as part of a package of measures taken to address the current COVID-related state of crisis in hospitals. The emergency order also prohibits all hospitals from utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) other than according to a conventional capacity strategy. This emergency order is effective at 12:01 on Monday, Jan. 17 and will remain in effect until 11:59 pm on Feb. 17 unless rescinded sooner. Proclamation 20-24.3....

Jan 5, 2022 PCMS Announces New Board Members

Pierce County Medical Society Announces New Board Members Nonprofit appoints second female president for second year in a row   (FIRCREST, Wash., January 4, 2022) – For the second year in a row, the Pierce County Medical Society (PCMS) has named a woman as its board president. Dina C. Titova, MD, PhD was elected president of the organization by member ballot at the November board meeting. PCMS represents physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Pierce County, WA. Dr. Titova serves as a medical provider at MultiCare Rheumatology Specialists in Tacoma and Auburn. She was on faculty at the University of Washington, Rheumatology Department, Seattle, WA for eight years. Titova is also a current board member of the Washington Rheumatology Alliance....

Dec 22, 2021 WSMA Issues Statement on Current COVID Situation

WSMA has sent an open message to patients about keeping health care available to everyone. The attached message will be run in newspapers statewide on Sunday, December 26. ...

Dec 13, 2021 Dr. John Heffernan Appointed to PCMS Board of Trustees

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. John T. Heffernan, Proliance Puget Sound Orthopaedics, to the PCMS Board of Trustees! Dr. Heffernan is a Puget Sound native and specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery and has extensive training in sports medicine....

Nov 23, 2021 Washington Workers’ Compensation Presumptive COVID-19 Coverage for Health Care and Frontline Workers

New laws apply to health care and frontline workers during public health emergencies involving infectious or contagious diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.  Health care and frontline workers who test positive for COVID-19 are presumed to have been exposed at work, and are eligible to file workers’ compensation claims with the Department of Labor and Industries. Health care workers who do not contract the disease but are required (by a medical provider or public health official) to quarantine due to an exposure are also eligible for benefits. Qualified workers are eligible for medical, disability, and temporary wage replacement benefits. Learn More:...

Nov 10, 2021 Dr. Neil Batta Appointed to PCMS Board of Trustees

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Neil Batta to the PCMS Board of Trustees! Dr. Batta practices pain management at NEOSPINE in Gig Harbor, WA and recently moved to Pierce County....

Nov 10, 2021 2022 PCMS Board Nominations Call for Ballots

2022 PCMS Board Nominations This is the candidate slate for electing 2022 Pierce County Medical Society Officers. Link to ballot here. Ballots must be received by December 3  OFFICERS – One Year Term President:  Dina Titova, MD, MultiCare Rheumatology Specialists President Elect: C. Blake Perry, MD, Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Centre Vice President: Julian Arroyo, MD, Puget Sound Orthopedics Secretary/Treasurer: Courtney Kennel, DO, Primary Care/Family Medicine Past President: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD, Community Health Care  Pursuant with PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition.  The petition must:  State the nominee and the office for which he or she is being nominated Be accompanied by the nominee's written statement of consent to serve if elected ...

Nov 3, 2021 Children ages 5-11 now eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

OLYMPIA – The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children 5 to 11 years old. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which reviewed data that found the vaccine to be safe and more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in younger children....

Oct 20, 2021 New license for IMGs available. Apply today!

OLYMPIA - In January, the legislature passed a law that grants internationally-trained medical graduates (IMGs) the opportunity to obtain a two-year medical license for clinical experience. Currently there is an option for one renewal to equal a total practice time of four years in the field. International medical graduates have long struggled to obtain U.S. medical licenses, which is why Washington state has passed two laws, in 2019 and 2020, to assist IMGs in gaining residencies, career guidance and clinical training. Last year the legislature extended that effort to include the two-year clinical experience license. The license is offered to IMGs meeting certain educational criteria, passing a background check and maintaining a practice agreement with a state licensed physician....

Oct 18, 2021 Annual Meeting 2021 Rescheduled

Out of an abundance of caution for our members and staff, the PCMS 2021 Annual Meeting has been rescheduled to May 11, 2022. At that time there will be a formal installation of officers and trustees. The Community Service Award winners will be celebrated. The event will benefit the Pierce County Medical Society Foundation. ...

Sep 21, 2021 Call for PCMS Community Service Award Nominees

PCMS is accepting nominations for the 2021 Community Service Award. This award recognizes a PCMS member that demonstrates leadership, participates in community activities, and contributes to the advancement of organized medicine.   Submit nominations here. ...

Sep 9, 2021 DOH statement on hospital capacity and crisis standards of care

Washington Department of Health issued statement on hospital capacity and crisis standards of care. ...

Aug 26, 2021 Ivermectin should not be used to prevent or treat COVID-19

DOH warns people should not take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19...

Aug 18, 2021 Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen issues mask directive for Pierce County.

You should wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible regardless of vaccination status....

Aug 12, 2021 Local Health Officers Call for Masks in Indoor Public Spaces

Joint Statement from Local Health Officers Regarding Need for Masks in Indoor Public Spaces...

Aug 9, 2021 Workers in private health care settings must be vacinnated by October 18

  Inslee announces vaccination requirement for most state employees, private health care and long-term care workers...

Aug 4, 2021 Tacoma health system to require COVID-19 vaccines for all staff as Delta variant spreads

MultiCare announced it now would require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees this fall.......

Jul 29, 2021 WSMA Statement Vacinnation Requirements Health Care Workers

Washington State Medical Association Announces Support for Vaccination Requirements for Health Care Workers ...

Jul 26, 2021 Need for Masks in Indoor Public Spaces

Joint Statement from Local Health Officers Regarding Need for Masks in Indoor Public Spaces  ...

Jul 19, 2021 COVID-19 Updates for Providers

Health Advisory: COVID-19 Updates for Providers   ...

Jun 30, 2021 Some COVID-19 precautions remain

Washington ready for reopening, but some COVID-19 precautions remain. Read the full story here.  ...

Jun 23, 2021 Mask mandate remains in health care settings

  https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/jun/22/mask-mandate-remains-in-he...  ...

Jun 17, 2021 US Supreme Court Upholds ACA

  The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a Republican bid backed by former President Donald Trump's administration to invalidate Obamacare, preserving the landmark healthcare law for the third time since its 2010 enactment. Read full story here...

Jun 15, 2021 US COVID-19 deaths cross painful 600,000

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-covid-19-deaths-cross-painful-600000......

Jun 3, 2021 Inslee announces vaccination incentives

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a suite of new incentives to help encourage unvaccinated Washingtonians to get the COVID shot. See full story below.  https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-vaccination-incentives-3a......

May 24, 2021 Follow PCMS on social media

We're excited to announce that we've gone social! Please take a moment and visit our pages. Once there, click "Like" or "Follow'. We look forward to bringing you great information and connecting with you!  Join us on Facebook!  Join us on Instagram!  Join us on Twitter!  Join us on LinkedIn!...

May 13, 2021 Inslee announces move to Phase 3

Washington will fully adopt masking guidance issued by the CDC today.  Read full announcement here     ...

May 12, 2021 PCMS Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

Pierce County Medical Society Foundation Board of Directors is glad to announce that grant applications for 2021 are being accepted until July 2, 2021.  Interested Pierce County non-profits can find further information here. ...

May 10, 2021 The Bulletin Spring 2021

Check out the Spring Bulletin 2021 Featuring:  Legislative Update  Changes at PCMS TPCHD: Building Bridges  NEW PA Practice Laws to Take Effect  and more  https://www.pcmswa.org/bulletin...

Apr 19, 2021 SB 5169 allows provider PPE reimbursement

Governor Inslee signs SB5169 allows provider reimbursement Use CPT code 99072 broadly* as appropriate  Effective immediately, any provider treating patients with state regulated commercial health plans and who has incurred costs for PPE will be able to bill the newly created CPT code 99072 and be reimbursed $6.57 per patient encounter (as recommended by the AMA's RUC Committee).  *Limitations may include self-insursed plans and determining which health plans are subject to state regulation. This is for the duration of the federal public health emergency. ...

Apr 13, 2021 CDC HEALTH ALERT J&J COVID-19 VACCINE

Cases of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia after Receipt of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network April 13, 2021, 1:00 PM ET CDCHAN-00442 Summary...

Apr 6, 2021 New PA practice laws go into effect July 2021

The Washington Medical Commission will be conducting events over the next couple of months to help the state medical system prepare for these changes. ...

Mar 30, 2021 Pierce County Medical Society Building

The Pierce County Medical Society Building located at 223 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402 is available for sale. Interested buyers should contact Lee & Associates. https://www.lee-associates.com/properties/?propertyId=807436-sale&addres...    ...

Mar 29, 2021 Take Action - Key Bills

PCMS Members are encouraged to contact key legislative committees on bills that impact medical practices.  WSMA's government affairs team is hard at work advocating in Olympia for physicians statewide. Share your voice on these important issues.  Audio-only telemedicine - Take action!...

Mar 22, 2021 Prepare now for the post-Covid-19 trauma wave

Now is the time to build the systems to cope with the post Covid-19 trauma wave. Dike Drummond, MD  explores this topic in depth in his latest blog post. ...

Feb 24, 2021 Winter Bulletin 2021

Hot off the presses! PCMS Winter Bulletin. Check it out.  https://www.pcmswa.org/bulletin    ...

Feb 4, 2021 PREP Act Authorization for Health Care Workers with Expired or Inactive Licenses to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

The Washington State Department of Health, in partnership with our health profession boards and commissions, is taking action to support retired health care workers or those with inactive licenses to more easily get back into the workforce to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.  The goal is to ensure we have a robust workforce to help us bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorization from Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah for health care workers with expired or inactive licenses to administer COVID-19 vaccines under certain circumstances....

Jan 20, 2021 WMC Rulemaking - PAs

Draft Rule Language Input Requested On January 13, 2021 the first workshop for rulemaking regarding the physician assistant chapter 246-918 WAC and SHB 2378 was held. The next workshop is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 2 pm.  If you would like to provide comments/suggestions/input on our draft language please do so by March 31. We will discuss both the draft and SHB 2378 (the bill analysis can be found here) at the April 7th workshop. You can send your comments to medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov. ...

Jan 7, 2021 Healthy Washington goes into effect 1.11.21

Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Pierce County will become part of the Central Region that includes King and Snohomish Counties as detailed in the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Plan. The Roadmap to Recovery has two phases.  Effective Monday, January 11, 2021 Pierce County will be in Phase 1 of the new plan.  Phase 1 The Central Region will track four metrics:  Two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population Two-week rate of new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population ICU occupancy (total: COVID and non-COVID)  COVID-19 test positivity rate  Phase 2  The Region must meet the following metrics to move to Phase 2 of the plan.  At least a 10% decrease in 2-week rate of cases per 100,000 people ...

Jan 6, 2021 DOH releases guidance on next phase of vaccine rollout

Following the successful completion of phase 1A and 1B the state will move to phase 1B. Summary of eligible groups for the phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccination. Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1) All people 70 years and older People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households Phase 1B2 - (Tier 2) High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement Phase 1B3 - (Tier 3) People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions Phase 1B4 - (Tier 4) High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years...

Jan 6, 2021 COVID19 Test Kits Available for Providers

COVID - 19 Test Kits Available TPCHD has both PCR and rapid antigen test kits available for provider practices upon request at no cost. Test kits available: Rapid antigen: CareStart: 90,000+ At-home PCR kits: SCAN: 100 per day Everlywell: 60,000+ To request kits, complete this form and someone from the Health Department will be in contact with you. For information on testing visit TPCHD....

Jan 5, 2021 2 Wash. health care giants merge to form Virginia Mason Franciscan Health

CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason Finalize Agreement to Form Virginia Mason Franciscan Health New integrated health system will increase access with more than 300 care sites in western Washington and will focus on quality, safety and the patient experience...

Dec 22, 2020 PCMS Announces New Board Members

PCMS appoints first female president in nearly 20 years (TACOMA, Wash., December 17, 2020) – For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Pierce County Medical Society (PCMS) has named a woman as its board president. Community Health Care's (CHC)  Dr. Ann J. Goetcheus Gehl was elected president of the organization and Dr. Dina C. Titova of MultiCare Rheumatology Specialists was named president-elect at the organization’s annual meeting held on December 8, 2020....

Dec 17, 2020 Telemedicine payment parity now permanent

Telemedicine payment parity now permanent in Washington The Washington State Legislature has extended Gov. Jay Inslee's proclamation temporarily requiring telemedicine payment parity through Dec. 31. With provisions of Senate Bill 5385 requiring payment parity from state-regulated health plans taking effect on Jan. 1, telemedicine payment parity is now effectively permanent in Washington state. Other proclamations will continue to require extensions to remain effective....

Dec 16, 2020 Oppose No Surprises Act

As Congress rushes to pass its final end-of-year legislative package, the issue of surprise billing has come front and center in the form of the recent bipartisan, bicameral No Surprises Act aimed at protecting patients from surprise medical bills. Please find links to the legislative text and section-by-section analysis.   Oppose the No Surprises Act today! The AMA strongly supports protecting patients from the financial impact of surprise medical bills that arises when patients reasonably believe that the care they received would be covered by their health insurer....

Dec 16, 2020 Vote fails to dissolve Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Council Member Pam Roach, who sponsored the ordinance, in a surprise move voted against it.  Thank you to all of our members and supporters who responded to our call to action to oppose this ordinance during the pandemic! ...

Dec 15, 2020 Gov. Inslee Issues moratorium on changes to joint city-county public health jurisdictions

Yesterday afternoon Gov. Inslee issued a proclamation preventing dissolution of health departments. “This proclamation puts a pause in effect on efforts to terminate a health district or a city-county health department such as what is currently taking place in Pierce County,” said Gov. Inslee. It remains to be seen if the Pierce County Council will proceed with voting on this measure at tomorrow's scheduled meeting. The Governor’s Office stated that if the county proceeds with the vote, it will be doing so in violation of the law.  ...

Dec 10, 2020 PCMS Honors Dr. Anthony L-T Chen with community service award

The Pierce County Medical Society (PCMS) presented Anthony L-T Chen M.D., MPH, Director of Health of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, with the PCMS Community Service Award. The award recognizes physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the community since 1992. Dr. Chen was chosen by PCMS for his exceptional dedication and leadership during the on-going COVID-19 public health crisis.  His life of service has been devoted to health equity and access to healthcare....

Dec 3, 2020 Oppose Ordinance No. 2020-136

During a pandemic and in the middle of the current surge, the Pierce County Council is proposing to dissolve the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. It is egregious and a threat to our community and those we serve. Contact your Pierce County Councilmember TODAY and urge them to oppose Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-136. The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department has successfully served the citizens of Tacoma and Pierce County for 30 years. Now is not the time for such a dramatic change. This is an unnecessary disruption to an already fragile healthcare system and a distraction the physician community does not need nor welcomes this absurd legislation. It is critical that the Council hears from our members, especially those from Bonney Lake, Puyallup, and Lakewood....

Dec 1, 2020 Additional Requirements for health care facilities

Additional requirements for health care facilities effective December 3, 2020 issued by Gov. Jay Inslee Proclamation 20-24.2 amends the existing non-urgent health care services, procedures, and surgeries proclamation.   Requirements are increased on PPE use, testing of health care professionals, notifications of outbreaks and distancing requirements in non-clinical areas of health facilities.   There is additional criteria for ambulatory surgical facilities.   These changes go into effect December 3, 2020 and remain in effect through the end of the state of emergency, or until it is rescinded or updated.   The update includes more details and compliance to additional agency guidelines from Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).  ...

Nov 19, 2020 Holiday Sharing Card Campaign Underway

Annual Holiday Sharing Card Campaign Underway  Help your foundation raise $50,000 for local non-profits doing phenomenal work under extraordinary circumstances! Check your mailbox on how you can help and give back Donate anytime to the PCMS Foundation by mailing a check to PCMS Foundation, 223 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma, WA 98402 or call the office to donate by credit card at 253.572.3667 Donations are tax deductible...

Nov 16, 2020 Member Perk: 30% Off Virtual Paint Parties

Member exclusive: PCMS members receive 30% off virtual paint parties Get creative during the holidays!  PCMS members can gather virtually for creative fun and holiday cheer Order paint kits that ship to you or pick up supplies at your local art store Great virtual team building or virtual holiday event option for your practice Book your event or inquiries contact Gregory Copploe, Chief Enterntainment Officer, Stir Up The Paint Studio directly.  Cheers! ...

Nov 10, 2020 Fall 2020 Bulletin

Read the Fall 2020 Bulletin Here!   ...

Nov 9, 2020 Member Perk - Browne Tacoma Tasting Room

MEMBER PERK! PCMS Members purchase one flight, get the second free at the new Browne Family Vineyards Tasting Room in Proctor  Valid thru November 2020.  Must bring flyer below to take advantage of this offer.  Reservations highly recommended!  Cheers! ...

Nov 4, 2020 Update: 2021 PCMS Board Nominations

2021 PCMS Board Nominations (Revised 11.4.2020) The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the revised Slate of Candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: CANDIDATE SLATE OFFICERS – One Year Term President: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD, Primary Care/Family Medicine, Community Health Care   President Elect: Dina Titova, MD, Rheumatology, MultiCare Vice President: C. Blake Perry, MD, Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Centre Immediate Past President: Alex Mohit, MD, PhD, Independent Surgeon, NeoSpine Secretary/Treasurer: Courtney Kennel, DO, Primary Care/Family Medicine   Pursuant with PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition. ...

Oct 29, 2020 FBI Warns Ransomware Assault Threatens US Healthcare System

Follow Ransomeware Best Practices  Ensure employees know who to contact when they see suspicious activity on their system System Administrators should be on high alert and focusing on mitigation measures  Regularly back up data and password protect backup copies offline FBI does not recommend paying ransom if your practice is victim or ransomware Read Full Story Here ...

Oct 20, 2020 Dr. Henry Davis, MultiCare & Dr. Christine Hammer, CHI Franciscan Join Board of Trustees

Pierce County Medical Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Henry M. Davis, MultiCare and Dr. Christine Hammer, CHI Franciscan have joined the Board of Trustees. Dr. Davis is an Adult Hospitalist at Tacoma General and Allenmore. He served on the Board of Directors for MultiCare and is active in his community. Dr. Davis is a graduate of University of Nevada School of Medicine. Dr. Hammer is a neurosurgeon with CHI Franciscan in Tacoma. She completed her fellowship at Emory University and is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine....

Oct 19, 2020 2021 PCMS Board Nominations

2021 PCMS Board Nominations The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: CANDIDATE SLATE OFFICERS – One Year Term President: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD, Primary Care/Family Medicine, Community Health Care   President Elect: Dina Titova, MD, Rheumatology, Multicare Vice President: Courtney Kennel, DO, Primary Care/Family Medicine Immediate Past President: Alex Mohit, MD, PhD, Independent Surgeon, NeoSpine Secretary/Treasurer: C. Blake Perry, MD, Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Centre Pursuant with PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition.  The petition must:  State the nominee and the office for which he or she is being nominated...

Oct 15, 2020 Pierce Co Medical Society Foundation Awards Grants

Pierce County Non-Profits to Receive $15,000 in Grants Today, the Pierce County Medical Foundation awarded $15,000 to local non-profits supporting homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, nutritious food, healthcare services, emergency survival bins, cribs, safe sleep education, mental health services, hygiene and personal care items.   2020 Grantees: Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County Catholic Community Services of Western Washington Making a Difference Foundation Neighborhood Clinic New Phoebe House Perinatal Collaborative of Pierce County Pierce County AIDS Foundation Pierce County Project Access The Wishing Well Foundation Trinity Presbyterian Church  ...

Oct 12, 2020 PREMERA PPE POLICY

Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiaries have made a determination to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines, and have been allowing for separate reimbursement for PPE over the past several months when billed appropriately. Premera will be following this practice through the end of October 2020. Below is guidance on this policy provided by the Washington State Medical Group Management Association....

Oct 1, 2020 Apply Early for New Provider Relief Fund Payments Starting Oct. 5

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that $20 billion in new funding will be available for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible providers may begin applying for funding Monday, October 5, 2020 through Friday, November 6, 2020.   Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. HHS is making a large number of previously ineligible providers eligible for Phase 3 General Distribution funding, including:...

Sep 29, 2020 Thank You Dr. Hirota for Your Leadership

Tacoma physician William "Bill" Hirota, MD led the Washington State Medical Association as president during a year that reshaped how health care is delivered now and into the future. Dr. Hirota was a tireless advocate for physicians and physician assistants during this pandemic in ensuring payment parity for tele-health, encouraging non-covid patients to continue to seek care despite the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" mandate, and commending the heroism and leadership of organized medicine from the onset of the crisis. He will now chair the WSMA Executive Committee in his role of past-president....

Sep 29, 2020 Congratulations To Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

Gig Harbor Emergency Physician Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP was named new president of WSMA at their 2020 Annual Meeting on Sunday, Sept. 27. He is an emergency physician at St Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and serves as the regional director of quality assurance for the emergency departments of CHI Franciscan and associate director of the TeamHealth Litigation Support Department. In his inaugural address, Dr. Schlicher encouraged physicians to lead health care because doctors see it through a clinician's lens. He stated, "If you don't have that, there's a knowledge deficit in leadership."...

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Kenneth D. Graham, MD

Dr. Kenneth D. Graham passed away peacefully on April 25, 2020, in his Gig Harbor home, with his wife Jeannie and their dog Charlie at his side. Ken, 89, had been recently diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. Born in Aberdeen on May 20, 1930, he graduated from the University of Washington in 1952 and completed his medical training at George Washington University School of Medicine in 1956. Ken completed his internship at San Joaquin General Hospital, CA., where he met and married his first wife, Beverly, in 1957....

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Thomas J. Miskovksy, MD

Few individuals fight forest fires in their teens then go on to practice orthopedic surgery in adulthood. Thomas James Miskovsky was that person. Tom was born into a tightly knit Czech family on June 25,1934, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Jaroslav Miskovsky and Ruth Patera Miskovsky. Tom proudly carried his Czech heritage with him throughout his life and enjoyed sharing it with others. Christmas season always began when Tom baked and shared his plum and apricot kolache, which he dutifully made from his mother's original recipe card. Tom's favorite meal was roasted duck with dumplings, a Czech comfort food from his early childhood. Some of the best memories of Tom are of his laughter and lively discussions over a good meal....

Sep 8, 2020 Camille Samujh, DO, MPH Joins PCMS Board of Trustees

Camille Samujh, DO, MPH, from Rainier Anesthesia Associates has joined the PCMS Board of Trustees. She is Chair of Anesthesia at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital. Dr. Samujh attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University. She completed her internship and residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York....

Sep 8, 2020 PCMS Appoints New Executive Director

Mary Eversole has been named Executive Director of the Pierce County Medical Society. A long-time Washington resident and graduate of Seattle University, she is returning home after nine years on the east coast. "I am honored to help the passionate leaders and members of the Pierce County Medical Society achieve their vision for the future of the physician and physician assistant community," said Eversole. Mary moves to PCMS from her most recent position as the Executive Director of the Vermont Insurance Agents Association in Williston, VT and she spent five years at World Vision in various positions, including External Relations Director for advocacy, major donor fundraising, and national events....

Mar 18, 2020 Board of Trustees Appoints Interim Director

Due to the unexpected and untimely death of Bruce Ehrle, the PCMS Board of Trustees has appointed previous director Sue Asher on an interim basis. Employed by PCMS for many years, Sue served as Director of MBI, the association's for-profit subsidiary and Assistant Executive Director prior to being named Executive Director in 2000. She retired in June 2015. She has been hired to continue the work of PCMS ensuring a smooth transition during this difficult time. She can be reached by email at SueA@pcmswa.org or at the office, 253.572.3667....

Mar 18, 2020 PCMS Mourns the Loss of PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle

Sadly and unexpectedly, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle died on March 2nd in Puyallup, where he resided. He was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital and diagnosed with Influenza A and pneumonia. He developed sepsis and was transferred to ICU where he was intubated and shortly thereafter coded. He was 53. Bruce came to PCMS from the Washington DC area where he worked for many years. He was a lobbyist for Oregon Senator Ron Wyden from 1992-2004. He then worked for the American Health Quality Association from 2004-2014. He was hired by PCMS in June 2015. His knowledge of national health care issues and politics was impressive....

Jan 30, 2020 Surprise Billing Resources from OIC

With the state's Balance Billing Protection Act having come in to effect on January 1, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has established on-line resources to provide details.  They may be found at this link: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/surprise-billing-and-balance-billing-protection-act  ...

Jan 21, 2020 CDC Coronavirus Resources for Providers

With the first US case of Coronavirus being reported this morning in Everett, WA by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCMS is distributing links to a couple of CDC resources: Media release from earlier today: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0121-novel-coronavirus-travel-case.html Information for Healthcare Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/guidance-hcp.html...

Dec 19, 2019 Holiday 2019 Bulletin

The Holiday edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found here...

Dec 18, 2019 Fine Art and Fun Featured During PCMS Annual Meeting at TAM

The 2019 Annual Meeting Banquet of the Pierce County Medical Society was conducted on Wednesday, December 11 at the Tacoma Art Museum.   As attendees arrived they were greeted by the sounds of a quartet of the Tacoma Youth Symphony performing holiday favorites while the new Benaroya Galleries as well as the North Galleries displaying a temporary exhibit of Impressionist masters were open for viewing.  Appetizers were served near the bar in the glass enclosed atrium looking out over downtown Tacoma....

Oct 28, 2019 Oktoberfest Brings PCMS Members Together

During a week that had NAM release a report about provider burnout that highlighted the importance of physicians not feeling isolated, PCMS Members enjoyed the latest free member Collegial Social at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma on October 24. The event had an Oktoberfest theme with outstanding German style food and beers.  The brats were so popular that only one was left by the end of the evening--and that one remained only because nobody wanted to be the person to take the last one....

Oct 25, 2019 2020 PCMS Board Nominations

The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: One year terms of office--2020: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD--President-Elect--Primary Care/Family Medicine (Community Health Care) Dina Titova, MD--Vice President--Rheumatology (MultiCare) Courtney Kennel, DO--Secretary--Primary Care/Family Medicine Julian Arroyo, MD--Trustee (appointed by Board of Trustees to vacancy for term expiring in 2020, requiring election for the remainder of the term)--Orthopedics Two year term of office--2020/2021: C. Blake Perry, MD--Trustee--Plastic surgery Under the terms of the PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition....

Oct 24, 2019 NAM Releases Report about Burnout

This week, the National Academy of Medicine released a 312 page report examining causes of burnout for health care providers and recommending solutions, many of which PCMS is already advocating for with policymakers to get at the root causes of stress and depression....

Oct 11, 2019 HHS Releases New Opioid Tapering Guide

The US Department of Health and Human Services has just released new guidance relating to tapering patients off opioids.  The five page document was written by a work group with members from CDC, NIH, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration among other agencies within HHS....

Oct 8, 2019 PCMS Fall 2019 Bulletin

The Fall 2019 edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found at the accompanying link...

Oct 4, 2019 PCMS meets with Insurance Commissioner's Senior Health Advisor

Jane Beyer, Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, joined the PCMS Board of Trustees for its meeting on Tuesday, October 1.  During the two-hour session, she provided the PCMS Leadership with information about implementation of the state’s new Balance Billing Protection Act and engaged in lively dialog about that topic as well as access to care including the state’s new public health insurance option.    She noted that Washington State will not be allowing the so-called “skinny plans” recently permitted to operate by the federal government again for the first time since prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Those plans have lower premiums with very little coverage except for catastrophic events and frequently siphon younger, h...

Oct 3, 2019 US Rep. Heck meets with PCMS

PCMS President Aaron Pace, MD and PCMS Trustees Nicholas Rajacich, MD and Dina Titova, MD as well as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Denny Heck for nearly an hour in his district office in Lakewood on Tuesday, October 1 to advocate on behalf of the Society’s membership.  Rep....

Oct 1, 2019 US Rep. Schrier meets with PCMS

PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Kim Schrier at her district office in Issaquah on Saturday, September 28.  As a physician, Rep....

Aug 16, 2019 2019 Picnic Features Food and Fun

Members of the Pierce County Medical Society and the Pierce County Chapter of AAFP gathered on the evening of Thursday, August 15 at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma for a barbeque buffet from Famous Dave's with all the fixin's.  The weather provided a perfect evening for taking advantage of the outdoor terrace's picnic tables.  Established physician members were able to welcome medical residents in the county and their paid registrations helped underwrite the free dinner provided to the residents. Raffle prizes for a night out each consisting of a $25 gift card to Farrelli's and a $25 gift card to Cinemark Century Theaters were awarded to two residents....